Hello lovelies! Today’s illustrations are part boom and part film. We all know that the Wicked Witch is melted with a bucket of water.
But how did that come about? The Witch enslaves Dorothy—she is afraid to actually abuse her because of the shining mark on her forehead, but Dorothy doesn’t know that so she is scared of the witch.
The girl had to work hard during the day, and often the Witch threatened to beat her with the same old umbrella she always carried in her hand. But, in truth, she did not dare to strike Dorothy, because of the mark upon her forehead. The child did not know this, and was full of fear for herself and Toto. Once the Witch struck Toto a blow with her umbrella and the brave little dog flew at her and bit her leg in return. The Witch did not bleed where she was bitten, for she was so wicked that the blood in her had dried up many years before.
Dorothy's life became very sad as she grew to understand that it would be harder than ever to get back to Kansas and Aunt Em again. Sometimes she would cry bitterly for hours, with Toto sitting at her feet and looking into her face, whining dismally to show how sorry he was for his little mistress. Toto did not really care whether he was in Kansas or the Land of Oz so long as Dorothy was with him; but he knew the little girl was unhappy, and that made him unhappy too.
Now the Wicked Witch had a great longing to have for her own the Silver Shoes which the girl always wore. Her bees and her crows and her wolves were lying in heaps and drying up, and she had used up all the power of the Golden Cap; but if she could only get hold of the Silver Shoes, they would give her more power than all the other things she had lost. She watched Dorothy carefully, to see if she ever took off her shoes, thinking she might steal them. But the child was so proud of her pretty shoes that she never took them off except at night and when she took her bath. The Witch was too much afraid of the dark to dare go in Dorothy's room at night to take the shoes, and her dread of water was greater than her fear of the dark, so she never came near when Dorothy was bathing. Indeed, the old Witch never touched water, nor ever let water touch her in any way.
Note: This was almost an illustration—with the bathtub in a darkened room with the silver shoes beside the tub.
But the wicked creature was very cunning, and she finally thought of a trick that would give her what she wanted. She placed a bar of iron in the middle of the kitchen floor, and then by her magic arts made the iron invisible to human eyes. So that when Dorothy walked across the floor she stumbled over the bar, not being able to see it, and fell at full length. She was not much hurt, but in her fall one of the Silver Shoes came off; and before she could reach it, the Witch had snatched it away and put it on her own skinny foot.
This is instead what I decided to do, and I am glad I did. How do you make an invisible iron bar, I thought to myself. I decided to use some printed paper I use for card making. I chose this particular paper because it has a weathered aged look and muted colours. I still wanted the red to reflect the previous time we saw the witch, but I needed a paper background. In the paper I cut a slit and made a little trapdoor flap that I carefully lined up the stripes to match the background. Note to self—don’t ever do this with stripes as it took several attempts to get it all lined up. Then I glued the iron bar underneath so it would be invisible. See below:
This picture is with the flap open. Then I glued the silver slipper as if it been knocked off.
The wicked woman was greatly pleased with the success of her trick, for as long as she had one of the shoes she owned half the power of their charm, and Dorothy could not use it against her, even had she known how to do so.
The little girl, seeing she had lost one of her pretty shoes, grew angry, and said to the Witch, "Give me back my shoe!"
"I will not," retorted the Witch, "for it is now my shoe, and not yours."
"You are a wicked creature!" cried Dorothy. "You have no right to take my shoe from me."
"I shall keep it, just the same," said the Witch, laughing at her, "and someday I shall get the other one from you, too."
This made Dorothy so very angry that she picked up the bucket of water that stood near and dashed it over the Witch, wetting her from head to foot.
Instantly the wicked woman gave a loud cry of fear, and then, as Dorothy looked at her in wonder, the Witch began to shrink and fall away.
Here is my Witch in a puddle of water.You can't really tell from the picture but her hands are bones as well.
"See what you have done!" she screamed. "In a minute I shall melt away."
"I'm very sorry, indeed," said Dorothy, who was truly frightened to see the Witch actually melting away like brown sugar before her very eyes.
"Didn't you know water would be the end of me?" asked the Witch, in a wailing, despairing voice.
"Of course not," answered Dorothy. "How should I?"
Note: I have always loved this line. I mean, how is she meant to know that?
"Well, in a few minutes I shall be all melted, and you will have the castle to yourself. I have been wicked in my day, but I never thought a little girl like you would ever be able to melt me and end my wicked deeds. Look out--here I go!"
Note: I have not always loved this line. “Look out—Here I go” feels a bit anticlimactic. I prefer the “I’m melting—melting!” from the film. However, I did want to have her melting, so I made her be able to melt away by means of a pull lever. Watch this film to see how I did it:
With these words the Witch fell down in a brown, melted, shapeless mass and began to spread over the clean boards of the kitchen floor. Seeing that she had really melted away to nothing, Dorothy drew another bucket of water and threw it over the mess. She then swept it all out the door. After picking out the silver shoe, which was all that was left of the old woman, she cleaned and dried it with a cloth, and put it on her foot again. Then, being at last free to do as she chose, she ran out to the courtyard to tell the Lion that the Wicked Witch of the West had come to an end, and that they were no longer prisoners in a strange land.
Two things—I debated long and hard about should it be a brown puddle to be textural or a blue puddle to look better and ultimately blue won. Secondly, I love the detail about her sweeping the witch goo out the door and wiping the shoe before putting it on. It is one of those details that bothers me in versions of Cinderella where the stepsisters cut off their toes and heals to fit in the glass slipper and then Cinderella tries it on with no mention of cleaning the blood out of the shoe.
The Cowardly Lion was much pleased to hear that the Wicked Witch had been melted by a bucket of water, and Dorothy at once unlocked the gate of his prison and set him free. They went in together to the castle, where Dorothy's first act was to call all the Winkies together and tell them that they were no longer slaves.
Note: This next part is not an illustration, but I wanted to include it if all you know is the film. One of the things that inspired me as a child was Dorothy. She was very real to me. She took charge. She made things happen. She was a problem solver. The Dorothy in the film is sitting up in the Witch’s castle crying her eyes out doing NOTHING but waiting for the men to rescue her. Yes, Dorothy cries in the book, but she also wipes her face and gets on with rescuing all the male characters after killing the witch. Also remember, in the book she is a CHILD and not a TEENAGER like Judy Garland.
There was great rejoicing among the yellow Winkies, for they had been made to work hard during many years for the Wicked Witch, who had always treated them with great cruelty. They kept this day as a holiday, then and ever after, and spent the time in feasting and dancing.
"If our friends, the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman, were only with us," said the Lion, "I should be quite happy."
"Don't you suppose we could rescue them?" asked the girl anxiously.
"We can try," answered the Lion.
So they called the yellow Winkies and asked them if they would help to rescue their friends, and the Winkies said that they would be delighted to do all in their power for Dorothy, who had set them free from bondage. So she chose a number of the Winkies who looked as if they knew the most, and they all started away. They travelled that day and part of the next until they came to the rocky plain where the Tin Woodman lay, all battered and bent. His axe was near him, but the blade was rusted and the handle broken off short.
The Winkies lifted him tenderly in their arms, and carried him back to the Yellow Castle again, Dorothy shedding a few tears by the way at the sad plight of her old friend, and the Lion looking sober and sorry. When they reached the castle Dorothy said to the Winkies:
"Are any of your people tinsmiths?"
"Oh, yes. Some of us are very good tinsmiths," they told her.
"Then bring them to me," she said. And when the tinsmiths came, bringing with them all their tools in baskets, she inquired, "Can you straighten out those dents in the Tin Woodman, and bend him back into shape again, and solder him together where he is broken?"
The tinsmiths looked the Woodman over carefully and then answered that they thought they could mend him so he would be as good as ever. So they set to work in one of the big yellow rooms of the castle and worked for three days and four nights, hammering and twisting and bending and soldering and polishing and pounding at the legs and body and head of the Tin Woodman, until at last he was straightened out into his old form, and his joints worked as well as ever. To be sure, there were several patches on him, but the tinsmiths did a good job, and as the Woodman was not a vain man, he did not mind the patches at all.
When, at last, he walked into Dorothy's room and thanked her for rescuing him, he was so pleased that he wept tears of joy, and Dorothy had to wipe every tear carefully from his face with her apron, so his joints would not be rusted. At the same time her own tears fell thick and fast at the joy of meeting her old friend again, and these tears did not need to be wiped away. As for the Lion, he wiped his eyes so often with the tip of his tail that it became quite wet, and he was obliged to go out into the courtyard and hold it in the sun till it dried.
"If we only had the Scarecrow with us again," said the Tin Woodman, when Dorothy had finished telling him everything that had happened, "I should be quite happy."
"We must try to find him," said the girl.
So she called the Winkies to help her, and they walked all that day and part of the next until they came to the tall tree in the branches of which the Winged Monkeys had tossed the Scarecrow's clothes.
It was a very tall tree, and the trunk was so smooth that no one could climb it; but the Woodman said at once, "I'll chop it down, and then we can get the Scarecrow's clothes."
Now while the tinsmiths had been at work mending the Woodman himself, another of the Winkies, who was a goldsmith, had made an axe-handle of solid gold and fitted it to the Woodman's axe, instead of the old broken handle. Others polished the blade until all the rust was removed and it glistened like burnished silver.
As soon as he had spoken, the Tin Woodman began to chop, and in a short time the tree fell over with a crash, whereupon the Scarecrow's clothes fell out of the branches and rolled off on the ground.
Dorothy picked them up and had the Winkies carry them back to the castle, where they were stuffed with nice, clean straw; and behold! here was the Scarecrow, as good as ever, thanking them over and over again for saving him.
Now that they were reunited, Dorothy and her friends spent a few happy days at the Yellow Castle, where they found everything they needed to make them comfortable.
But one day the girl thought of Aunt Em, and said, "We must go back to Oz, and claim his promise."
"Yes," said the Woodman, "at last I shall get my heart."
"And I shall get my brains," added the Scarecrow joyfully.
"And I shall get my courage," said the Lion thoughtfully.
"And I shall get back to Kansas," cried Dorothy, clapping her hands. "Oh, let us start for the Emerald City tomorrow!"
This they decided to do. The next day they called the Winkies together and bade them good-bye. The Winkies were sorry to have them go, and they had grown so fond of the Tin Woodman that they begged him to stay and rule over them and the Yellow Land of the West. Finding they were determined to go, the Winkies gave Toto and the Lion each a golden collar; and to Dorothy they presented a beautiful bracelet studded with diamonds; and to the Scarecrow they gave a gold-headed walking stick, to keep him from stumbling; and to the Tin Woodman they offered a silver oil-can, inlaid with gold and set with precious jewels.
Every one of the travellers made the Winkies a pretty speech in return, and all shook hands with them until their arms ached.
Dorothy went to the Witch's cupboard to fill her basket with food for the journey, and there she saw the Golden Cap. She tried it on her own head and found that it fitted her exactly. She did not know anything about the charm of the Golden Cap, but she saw that it was pretty, so she made up her mind to wear it and carry her sunbonnet in the basket.
Then, being prepared for the journey, they all started for the Emerald City; and the Winkies gave them three cheers and many good wishes to carry with them.
That’s all for today. Stay tuned for the story of the Winged Monkeys!